Life Lately {September and October 2014}

It’s been a while since I’ve done a life update post, huh? It’s been since August, to be exact.

Life Lately

I don’t know about you, but I welcomed fall with wide open arms this year. Like I mentioned in my new newsletter that went out last week, I was happy to embrace the new season because it meant things were slowing down a bit from all the craziness that the summer brought. The first week of September was spent off from work. We spent the first half of the week celebrating my birthday, checking out potential wedding venues, and enjoying some time at home. We spent the second half of the week up north in one of our favorite places, Maine!

Maine Vacation: Cape Porpoise

When we got home from our vacation, we immediately were back into wedding mode, as we needed to make a decision within a week about our wedding venue. We were really torn between Atlantica in Cohasset for an ocean front wedding and Zorvino’s in NH for a rustic winery wedding. The second weekend in September we actually did a second visit back up to Zorvino’s just to make sure we had all our questions answered, and the return visit really clinched it for us. So that’s that! Our wedding date is set for Sunday, September 20th of next year at Zorvino’s!


We are really excited about our venue, but I am just so relieved that the venue researching part of the process is over. Don’t get me wrong, I am really enjoying other parts of the planning, but the venue hunt simply wasn’t one of them. I feel guilty saying that because everyone and their mom and second cousin once removed felt the need to remind me about how AMAZING all of that should have been, but you know what? Trying to coordinate viewing a bunch of places all over the state between the hours of 8 and 4 during the week and keep it all straight actually wasn’t that amazing to me. I’m way more excited now that we have our venue and church selected and can think about more exciting things like who is going to lead the Greek dancing circles, what color I want my bridesmaids to wear, and what our signature drinks should be. Right?!


Other mentionable September happenings include apple picking,

Apple Picking 2014

attending the annual WWCMA conference for work,

WWCMA 2014 Conference

going to a sweetgreen passport class called Barre & Bites with Liz,

sweetgreen barre & bites

and much more of THIS than I’ve been able to do in a really long time:

Tea on the Couch

There were also a couple of nights out to dinner with friends. I saw Allison for dinner at Seasons 52 in Burlington one night, and I met up with Bridget, Slesh, and Trina at a restaurant called Forum downtown. However, I’d say one of the main highlights of September was one of my bestie’s weddings! Holy moly, talk about an amazing fun weekend in NYC celebrating Erica and Chris. One of the best weddings I’ve ever been to, and just for the record, Tim and I figured out we’ve been to 23 in 3 years. So I think we are pretty good wedding judgers!

Erica & Chris: NYC Wedding

October was here before we even knew it, and I kicked off the month by hosting my really fun event at Athleta. Another one is in the works, so make sure to sign up for my newsletter to get early bird signup privileges and sneak peek details!

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

Tim was away for a bachelor party the first weekend of the month, so I used the time to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen a long time. I did dinner with my friend Erin at Isabella Restaurant and was able to get together spontaneously with some of the gym girls at Solea for sangria and tapas too. After we did dinner that night, I hung with Ashley at her house for awhile just catching up and drinking cider.

The week Tim got back, I was supposed to go to the October New Balance Girls Night Out event, but since we were still sharing a car at this point, it was impossible to get downtown. I was bummed to miss it, but Tim did get a new Altima, and we didn’t go broke (or start hating each other) in the process.

Other beginning of October things included a date night to see The Lion King (my birthday present, with dinner at Harvard Gardens first),

The Lion King

Tim’s godson’s christening,

Wes's Baptism

a random Tuesday night sleepover/gym friend get together at Ashley’s house when Jen was back in the states,

Jen's Visit: Tuesday Night Sleepover

and wedding dress shopping! I went first to David’s Bridal in Danvers to get a better idea of what type of style I was going for. I had no clue going into it whether I wanted satin versus lace, strapless versus not, etc. so that really helped. I brought my mom, MOH (Slesh), and bridesmaid (and seamstress!) Shannon with me, and they were all awesome throughout the whole process.

Wedding Dress Shopping

I went dress shopping again the following week, this time with my mom and Shannon again, but my Uncle Chris came along too. This trip I found the gown! I can’t wait for you guys to see it, but I suppose you’ll have to wait a year, huh?

Wedding: Gown

October’s last few weeks were spent celebrating our five year anniversary (dinner at Harvest in Harvard Square + drinks at Beat Hotel — HIGHLY recommend both),

Five Year Anniversary

spontaneously going to Harvest Fest 2014 in Somerville (SO many fun beers and food samples!),

Somerville Harvest Fest 2014

running the Oak Square OAKtoberfest 5k and post race brunching,

OAKtoberfest 5k Race & Taste: Family

Cook Restaurant

getting my monthly deep tissue massage (I signed up for a wellness package),

Massage Envy

celebrating my friend Jen’s birthday with the gym girls,

Gym Friends at Jen's

Gym Friends Food

going to Tim’s cousin’s birthday party, my friend Johnny’s housewarming party, and Patrice and Brian’s beautiful wedding!

Patrice & Brian's Wedding

We rounded up the month by heading back up to Zorvino’s for our meet the vendors night, and finally, hosting Halloween! We were lame this year and didn’t require anyone to wear a costume. What we did require was everyone bring a seasonal craft beer so we could have a little tasting. It was fun!

Halloween 2014

Lots of good stuff going on outside of work lately!

–Let’s chat–
Tell me about the highlights of September and October? What stood out to you the most? I want to know what you’ve been up to! What are you looking forward to in November?

I am looking forward to a free Saturday and Sunday next weekend after we attend wedding #7 of 8 this year on Friday night! I am also excited for Thanksgiving. Slesh is hosting Friendsgiving again this year, AND Tim and I figured out how to spend the holiday with both of our families.

Have a great day, you guys!

Candy Control, Costumes Through the Years, and Halloween Friday Favorites

Morning, and Happy Halloween!

Candy Control

Since today is notoriously known as the biggest candy day of the year, I want to just take a second and throw something out there. Before you reach for that candy bar (or two… or three…) today, think about whether you truly want to eat the candy or if you are just eating it because it’s there and because it’s Halloween. Remind yourself that Halloween candy is actually available every day of the year. Sure the M&Ms might be orange, and those Reese’s might be shaped like pumpkins, but these are treats that are accessible to us all year round, are they not? Choose mindfully today, make sure that what you eat is truly a CHOICE (not just a cheat), and certainly not something you do just because today is a holiday/day to eat whatever you want. With this in mind, certainly don’t deprive yourself, but enjoy the holiday once. Have a favorite today, but not two weeks later, not in the office next week, etc. Just some thoughts!

Halloween Costumes Through the Years

I thought it would be a fun Friday post to share some Halloween costumes from years past!

2014: Yesterday as a referee at the gym

Halloween at the Gym 2014

2013: Last year I dressed up with Liz as Thing 1 and Thing 2

Halloween: Thing 1 & Thing 2

2012: Another gym Halloween. 80s style fitness!

Halloween Group Ex Classes 2012

2011: I had two Halloween parties to go to this year. I did the leotard get-up again for one of them, and for the other I tried to be Miss Scarlett from Clue along with some other fellow Clue characters. Nobody could tell who we all were, darnit.

Halloween 2011

Halloween: Clue Characters

2010: One of my favorites! Nerds!

Nerd Costume

2009: Hello, rock star and pink hair.

Halloween: Rockstar Costume

2008: I can’t believe I used to have the effort to come up with MULTIPLE costumes. Party #1 = Flinstones. Party #2 = flappers.

Halloween: Flinstones

Halloween: Flappers

2007: The other flapper costume. And a Twister board, which is my other all time favorite Halloween costume besides dressing up as a nerd with Tim.



2006: Pirate. I thought I was so cool because I wrote “argh you gonna touch my booty” on my shirt. My only excuse for that being okay ? Senior year of college. Woof.


My hard drive broke with all my other college pictures on it (still can’t handle that), but I do remember dressing up as a French maid with Shannon (I think junior year?). Sophomore year is a mystery, but look at this gem I found from freshman year:

Charlie's Angels

What? You can’t tell we are Charlie’s Angels?

I have a bunch of gems from high school too. There was that year I dressed up with my friend Baka as Cat Woman and Batman.


Then there was a time that I was going to dress up with my friend Rob as Austin Powers and the girl from Austin Powers… but then he was sick so I was sans Austin Powers.

High School Halloween

Oh, and I think I went trick or treating until I was 15 years old. As a farmer. haha!

Halloween: Farmer

Well, that was fun (and a little horrifying). Crazy how costumes change from your younger 20s to your almost 30s! I wish I could remember more from my childhood. All I can think of was cookie monster, a devil, and a MAN. My parents were probably horrified that year! Mom? Any other good ones you can share with F&F?

Moving on…

Halloween Friday Favorites

Since I didn’t have much free time for my usual blog reading this week, I decided to share some fun Halloween inspired links I stumbled upon this week instead. Enjoy!

Halloween Fitness

Halloween Food

Halloween Fun

And if you missed anything on F&F this week, check out the launch of my new newsletter, my recipe for a lightened up apple crisp, and my own themed Halloween workout that I taught yesterday in class.

–Let’s chat–
How do you practice candy control on a day like today? What was your favorite Halloween costume? Your least favorite?
Are you dressing up this year? What are your weekend plans?

Tim and I are having some friends over tonight for pumpkin and Oktoberfest inspired beers. Costumes optional. We are lame! Have a great weekend, everyone.

A Wicked Halloween Workout

This morning I taught what has become my annual Halloween themed class at the gym. I know 6am is pretty aggressive for people to get decked out, so I just encouraged my class members to wear some Halloween flair if they had it. We had some tutus, leotards, mini mouse ears, and orange and black, so I think they did a pretty good job at getting into the spirit of things.

Halloween at the gym 2014

I dressed up as a referee. It took a lot of restraint to not bust out a whistle for timing the drills (I have one).

Halloween at the Gym 2014

^^ I look tired today, huh?

In true Athena form, I brought back the Halloween workout playlist that never fails me:

Halloween Workout Playlist

And I made sure that all my moves today were Halloween inspired. I assume full responsibility for how dorky this is, but like I posted on Instagram this morning, what’s the fun in being boring? I called this one my wicked Halloween workout.

A Wicked Halloween Workout

You guys should try it! Here’s a breakdown of the moves:

Part 1: Bodyweight Circuit
I snagged this circuit from the Fall Freedom challenge I am participating in through Neghar Fonooni. It’s tomorrow’s workout in our weekly plan, but I had my class do it today. I set a timer for 15 minutes, and everyone had to see how many rounds of each exercise they could do in that amount of time while keeping good form.

  • Spooky single leg squats: Balancing on one leg, sit down to a step or bench, then stand back up. Do 10 on each leg. Holding a dumbbell for extra weight is optional.
  • Demon decline pushups: Do 8 pushups with your feet elevated on the bench and your hands on the ground.
  • Lurking lunge hops: Step backward into a lunge position, and jump (2 feet to 2 feet). Immediately after landing in the same lunge position you started in, bring your back knee forward and hop. Do 8 on each side in this pattern.

Part 2: Traveling Tabatas
I had class do two pairs of exercises. For each pair, alternate between the two exercises in a 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off format. Each pair will be done for a total of four times.

Halloween at the Gym 2014

  • Zombie walks #1 + monster climbers: Holding a pair of light weights (or one heavier weight) in front of you, walk around the room while keeping your abs engaged. Try not to lean forward or back, and make sure your arms are no higher than shoulder height. Your palms will either be face down, or facing in toward each other. After 20 seconds is up, drop to the ground for mountain (monster) climbers. Your hands will be flat on the ground, and you will alternate bringing your knees one at a time into your chest. For more cardio, add speed.
  • Zombie walks #2 + spiderman planks: Hold one heavy dumbbell overhead, and walk around the room again. This is really called a dumbbell’s waiter walk, and it’s a core move because you really have to engage to not lean side to side. Keep your shoulder down, and try not to bend the elbow too much. After 20 seconds, drop back down to the ground for spiderman planks. You will alternate bringing your right knee to touch your right elbow, then your left knee to touch your left elbow. These ones should be done slowly to feel the burn!

Part 3: Partner Work

Halloween at the Gym 2014

  • Pass the pumpkin 2 ways: You will need a medicine ball for this one. First, stand back to back with a partner. Pass the ball to and from each other for 60 seconds. Then lay on the ground with your feet touching, and take turns tossing and catching the ball with each other as you do situps. Do this for 60 seconds. Then repeat the standing oblique move going in the other direction for 60 seconds, and do the situp toss and catch again for another 60.
  • Creepy crawlers: Facing your partner on all fours, crab walk backwards for four walks, then front for four walks, and clap hands (alternating one hand at a time) four times. Repeat in this pattern for 60 seconds.
  • Candy crunches: Sit side by side to your partner, but facing opposite directions. Do oblique crunches toward each other, high fiving at the top of the crunch. You will be working opposite sides for 60 seconds, then switch to finish the other side for another 60 seconds.
  • Jack o’lantern jumps: With your partner, take turns doing squat jumps (frogger style) until together you total 100 jumps.

Part 4: Floor Work

  • BOOty burners: Lying on one side with your hips and knees stacked, bring your top knee down in front of you so it touches the floor, then extend your leg back up so you press your heel into the air, aiming toward the top corner of the room. Do 3 sets of 10, then 10 reps of leg lowers and lifts, then 10 circles front, and 10 circles back. Repeat on the other side. You can get a better idea of this one here.
  • Vampire v-sits: Just do regular v-sits with 10 slow reps. Start lying on the ground, arms extended overhead. Come up to a “V” position so your legs are extended/lifted in front of you. Hold 3 seconds, then come back down to your starting point.
  • Scary supermans: Lying on your stomachs, extend your arms in front of you, keeping your neck in a neutral position. Simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling. Hold for 3 seconds, then come back down. Repeat for 10 reps. We actually didn’t have time for these this morning, but that’s okay.

Halloween at the Gym 2014

So fun! Thanks everyone for getting into the Halloween spirit!

–Let’s chat–
Instructors, are you doing anything Halloween-ish in your classes this week? Costumes, theme rides, playlists, moves? Readers, have you gone to any Halloween inspired fitness events? What’s your favorite Halloween song to workout to?

For more Halloween inspired F&F posts, check out: